Windfarm funding set to benefit community

Windfarm fund is set to help local communities
Windfarm fund is set to help local communities

A new fund is being set up to enable vital investment in community-led projects throughout the whole of East Renfrewshire.

The new East Renfrewshire Renewable Energy Fund will replace the existing Whitelee Wind Farm Fund set up in partnership with Scottish Power Renewables in 2007 to ensure than an annual sum of money is used for community charitable, educational or environmental projects.

East Renfrewshire environment director, Andy Cahill, said: “The new East Renfrewshire Renewable Energy Fund will combine the income from Scottish Power Renewables from the existing Whitelee Fund and a new funding stream from the Middleton Windfarm to create a single bigger fund available to a greater number of projects across the whole of East Renfrewshire.

“The existing Whitelee fund - managed by ERC on behalf of Scottish Power Renewables - has already invested more than £1.5m in community projects and has prioritised investment in projects within five km of the windfarm – namely Eaglesham and Waterfoot.

“However a new windfarm in Middleton is already operational and a similar community benefit arrangement is in place.

“It was agreed that combining the two funds with a new single set of criteria would be of benefit to the entire community”

Before the new panel becomes operational the council will be seeking the views of members of the community and other interest groups on the proposed priorities of the new fund and an engagement process will be launched in the coming weeks.

It is estimated that the fund will administer around £165,000 every year to community projects across the whole of East Renfrewshire.